In a previous article, we discussed the importance of non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and pointed out that water-soluble NSPs are harmful to gut health.
Water-soluble NSPs increase the viscosity of the digesta by 3 to 5 folds. By increasing the viscosity of the intestinal content, water-soluble NSPs impair productivity and gut health:
- Slow down feed passage rate and reduce feed intake
- A higher viscosity lowers the amount of oxygen inside the intestine, promoting the growth of anaerobes such as Clostridium sp. and Enterobacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Animals are more prone to necrotic enteritis and the risk of foodborne diseases increases.
- Water-soluble NSPs form a gel that traps starch, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water inside, preventing endogenous digestive enzymes from accessing the nutrients. Feces appear watery. Enzyme supplementation fails to solve the problem of watery feces.
- When birds consume feeds with high amounts of water-soluble NSPs, the thickness of the intestinal increases, reducing the absorption of nutrients, especially those which are absorbed by passive diffusion. Moreover, the secretion of mucin also rises. Excess mucin is related to higher risk of necrotic enteritis.
- Water-soluble NSPs damage the epithelial surface, breaking the gut barrier function and leading to leaky gut. Toxins and pathogens are able to enter the bloodstream and cause systemic infections and inflammation. In this scenario, up to 30% of nutrients are diverted to the immune reaction instead of being used for growth.
How can plant extracts help?
In order to mitigate the negative effects of water-soluble NSPs, supplementation with adequate, high-quality enzymes is key. However, on many occasions enzymes fail to solve all the challenges posed by NSPs, and plant extracts help to increase productivity and improve gut health:
- Plant extracts reduce the counts of pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens and E. coli in the gut flora.
- Plant extracts are able to reduce the mucosal thickness up to 40%, improving nutrient absorption.
- Plant extracts, when coupled with the appropriate enzymes, are able to increase protein digestion and reduce the amount of mucin.
- Plant extracts are able to mitigate the negative consequences of watery feces, such as footpad dermatitis and skin infections.
- Use of plant extracts reinforces the gut barrier, in example by increasing the expression of proteins related to the tight junctions (occludin, claudin).
Products of choice
PlusProtect Digestive© is intended to maintain and improve digestive health in birds, rabbits, and aquatic species of all ages. It is given through drinking water and is formulated with synergistic ingredients:
- Essential oils with bactericidal and fungicidal activity
- Plant extracts with prebiotic effect.
- Immunostimulant and antioxidant essential oils.
GrowthPlus© is intended to maintain and improve digestive health. It is formulated with synergistic ingredients:
- Bactericidal and fungicidal plant extracts, combined with organic acids for better effectiveness, that reduce the number of pathogenic microbes in the digestive system.
- Plant extracts with prebiotic effect, that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Immunostimulant and antioxidant plant extracts.
- Silicates with mycotoxin binding function.
It is especially useful in cases of gizzard diseases, necrotic enteritis, feed passage, and other enteritis. It is also used as a natural growth promoter and to replace antibiotic growth promoters.
DigestoCid© is intended as a water acidifier, water sanitizer and to improve gut health in poultry and pigs of all ages.
- Buffered organic acids, that reduce the pH of drinking water and inhibit the growth of Gram-negative bacteria.
- Monoester fatty acids also called medium chain fatty acids, that inhibit the growth of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and have antiviral effects.
- Essential oils and phytochemicals with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties.
DigestoCid© has a broader spectrum of action compared to products based solely on organic acids and allows superior antibacterial and antifungal effectiveness at a less acidic pH (5.5-6.5) than competitors.
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Certain health statements may not be applicable in your geographical region.